New Jersey’s Department of Law & Public Safety is making available $12 million in grant funding to reduce gun violence and support crime victims, including $10 million to support Community-Based Violence Intervention (CBVI) programs.

The department is now accepting applications from nonprofits and other community organizations for these grant funds, as described in the Notices of Availability of Funds that the department is releasing to the public today. Funding is available to support two programs: $10 million for the CBVI grant program, and $2 million in COVID-19 relief funds to provide emergency housing for crime victims.

“Under our administration, New Jersey has been a national leader in violence reduction efforts,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “This funding will support victims of crime in rebuilding their lives, while also preventing crime through intervention efforts and other community-based solutions. I applaud Acting Attorney General Bruck for his continued leadership on this critical issue.”

The $10 million CBVI funding was included in the State Fiscal Year 2022 Budget, and reflects a key component of the Murphy administration’s efforts to tackle the root causes of violent crime. Through the CBVI program, non-profit community service providers will receive funding for the development and implementation of violence intervention programming for communities impacted by higher than average rates of violence, with a focus on gun violence.

“I am thankful for Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Bruck’s commitment to combating gun violence in our communities and for understanding the need for alternative violence reduction initiatives,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “Here in Newark, my administration and our residents work collectively to create a safer city and we strongly believe in strategically investing in community-based public safety with a public health and trauma-informed approach.”

The purpose of the CBVI program is to support non-profit community service providers by soliciting applications for initiatives including street outreach and mentoring, trauma-informed programs with cognitive behavioral therapy, and integration of local social service providers to connect people to social and economic services.

Advocates say CBVI programs have a track record of success, and have reduced homicides by as much as 60% in communities where they were initiated. The programs employ violence intervention strategies that provide alternatives to violence and embody a community-based public safety model.

“We cannot end gun violence unless we invest in the people working on the ground to make their communities safer,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck. “The grant funding we’re making available today is an essential part of the Murphy administration’s public safety strategy and a reflection of our commitment to this issue. We recognize that prosecutors and police cannot end gun violence on their own, and this funding will strengthen the community partners who are so essential to building safer neighborhoods.”

Murphy and Bruck are leading a statewide three-pronged approach to tackling gun violence, which is classified as a public health crisis, including addressing the root causes of violence, keeping guns away from those most likely to harm others, and taking swift action against those who break the law.

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